All businesses need websites, but not all companies have the available funding to employ a web developer to build one. Fortunately, this is no longer necessary as there is a wide range of services that enable the creation of a professional and functional website for a low price or even free of charge.
If you are looking for an easy website builder for small business that can provide an effective and reliable service, this can be achieved in a short space of time. But with so many services that are now available, there are several considerations that come into play when choosing the best website builder.
Pricing is often the starting point for enterprises planning to build a website. Many website builders offer free plans, though these may be limited in the services or features they offer, and they may require additional plugins or extensions to be purchased.
While WordPress.org is available for free with some free themes included, hosting is not provided as it is with a WordPress.org plan. Users of WordPress.org cannot choose additional plugins and features, though, for an extra $30 (£23), additional fonts and custom CSS can be added. Some website builders offer free trial periods, such as Squarespace, that offers users a trial period of 14 days.
Though website builders simplify the web development process for users, the process can still require some technical expertise, such as the ability to write or edit HTML or CSS. Some website builders are more suitable for the beginner, such as Wix, which uses artificial design intelligence (ADI) to make building a website simpler and more intuitive.
A wide selection of themes and templates also helps those with less experience, while more experienced web developers usually prefer to have more options for customisation. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are examples of website builders that are better suited to the more advanced in website development.
For those without experience in website building, or with less time to spend on the project, simple, straightforward, and user-friendly website builders will be the most suitable choice. This will mean choosing a website builder that doesn’t require any coding and has useful features like drag-and-drop tools and an intuitive editor.
Some website builders include a generous selection of themes and templates with only simple customisation options so that websites can be created quickly and easily. This does mean less control over the finished product, but a beautiful site can be produced in a shorter space of time. Such simple, beginner-level website builders include Jimdo or Site123.
Support and resources
Website developers of all levels can come across challenges that are difficult to overcome, and for which online or phone support is necessary. Bluehost and SiteBuilder.com both offer 24/7 phone support and chat, while others only offer support by chat or email. Particular requirements may depend on the learning styles and needs of the individual user. For the process of learning to build a website, text, or video resources may be preferred.
For website developers who have specific ideas about the design and functionality of their website, a certain amount of customisation will be required. This could include the changing of fonts or colours, the addition of text and photos, or adapting templates without losing content. Some users may wish to manage the mobile interface separately from desktop, and website builders like Weebly and WordPress offer this with the purchase of an additional application.
Integration into third-party platforms, such as YouTube, Amazon, or Shopify, may make a considerable difference to the effectiveness of a website builder. This may also incur an extra fee. Such integrations can affect the design and functionality of a website, and represent features not readily available through the website builder platform. An additional concern may be the ability to accept foreign currency.
In order to build email lists and send newsletters, MailChimp can be integrated with many website builders, such as Wix or Squarespace.
For many businesses, search engine optimisation is an essential part of generating interest, so website builders that include SEO features for on-site optimisation are preferred. In addition to this, SEO meta elements need to be easily added and updated, and the sitemap made available to the search engine. Website builders like Wix, Weebly, and GoDaddy offer SEO management features so this can be easily managed.
Not all website builders offer hosting as part of the package, so users will need to look for suitable hosting in their own time and add it to their completed website. Website builders like Bitrix24 and Bluehost both offer website hosting, while WordPress provides this on its paid platform. Most website builders will provide free subdomains with the website builder’s name included, but businesses usually prefer to have their own custom domain. This is usually made possible by purchasing a custom domain externally, or by using a domain extension, such as.ME, which can be used with WordPress. Ucraft is a website builder that provides the use of a custom domain on the free plan.
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With such a large number of website builders currently available, features, services, and quality will usually determine the selection process. This will depend on the particular situation and requirements of the project in question, and time should be taken over the decision-making process. Finding the right website builder for your business is not always easy, but it could make a big difference to your finished web project.